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Archive for the 'Gregg Senko' Category

Tensions Heat Up With ‘The Curse of Brimstone’ – Issue #1

So for a few months now I’ve been tackling DC’s latest arsenal of new titles for 2018. The one I’ve anticipated the most has finally arrived, The Curse of Brimstone. It recently arrived on store shelves and through Amazon’s Comixology in tandem with another new DC release, The Immortal Men. While I haven’t picked up the latter yet, I dove into Brimstone rather quickly. Writer Justin Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode) brings a hot pen to the book’s pages as Philip Tan (Final Crisis) delivers the scorching visuals.  Pack some sunscreen because this book is going to burn.

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The Brilliance of Sinclair

I was kind of late to the concert scene compared to most of my peers as a teen. I didn’t see my first show until I was 19. Since then, I’ve lost track of just how many concerts I’ve been to, but thankfully there has been that luxury of experiencing a lot more good shows than bad. With each of those headlining bands, there have been a plethora of opening acts I’ve been able to listen to as well. Some sang, some danced, but only a few performed. This past Wednesday, April 11th, another opening act was added to my list of artists seen. Wait, in this case let us say ‘experienced’. Prior to the Daughtry show at the Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield, Ohio, a trio known simply as Sinclair took the stage. No one warned me just how impactful they would be.

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‘Ready Player One’ Offers Spectacular Visuals and a Headache

In 2011, a certain sci-fi novel was released called Ready Player One.  It was an instant hit and not only were sales impressive, but the book found its way to the New York Times Best Seller list.  Now, I cannot say that I have read the book, but of those that have, no one has never told me one bad thing about it. Being a bit of literature that flew off store shelves and fulfilled many online shopping carts, it seemed destined to make its way to the big screen.  The novel is filled with references to decades past such as the band Rush, Ultraman, Joust, D&D and a boatloads of 1980’s pop culture favorites. How did all this translate to a somewhat dystopian future where video games are more than just an escape from life? You know the drill. No need to drop another quarter to continue. Just click to read on.

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Asmodee Extends its Reach to Film, TV & Comics

If you’re familiar with the some of today’s most popular board games (no, I don’t mean Monopoly or Sorry), then you’re probably familiar with Asmodee (azz-mo-day). The French publisher is a behemoth in the industry and currently oversees production of many massively popular board, card and role-playing games like Hanabi, Splendor, Ticket to Ride, Dead of Winter and Star Wars X-Wing. Of course, to get to the point they are at today, they have acquired a number of other game publishers along the way such as Fantasy Flight, Days of Wonder, and most recently Mayfair Games and Lookout Spiele. While some raise an eyebrow to the number of companies Asmodee is amassing, there is no denying they excel at what they do. So what else do you do when you own nearly everything in sight? You turn it into a movie.

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‘Infidel’ Draws Creepy Vibe, Sinister Visitors

It’s taxing to find good horror on comic book shelves. Many titles that try their hand at the genre are underwhelming while others may just come across as kid-like and are more goofy than scary. Now don’t get me wrong. The horror gems can still be found out there. The first to come to mind is Joe Hill’s resounding Lock & Key, which not only turned some keys, but plenty of heads as well. This title didn’t garner international attention because the covers were pretty. Content was solid to say the least. Yet that brings us to today when horror comic books aren’t exactly commonplace. Let’s correct that right now. I give you Infidel.

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Mera Has Her Day – and Her Own Series

Im a big Aquaman fan, but as the saying goes, behind every great man is a great woman. For quite some time, the one-time rival and now love interest of Arthur Curry, Mera of Xebel, gets her own comic book series. Though it is a limited series, something tells me DC is testing the waters to see if sales will allow her to get her own ongoing story.  For now, I’m just excited this has come out.  DC released issue #1 of the Mera: Queen of Atlantis at the end of February. Pardon me for a being a little late to the game, but as the other saying goes, better late than never. Plus, this is one title that is worth the wait.

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The Terrifics…or is it?

In keeping up with DC’s ongoing barrage of new titles this year, the latest arrival in our hands is issue #1 of The Terrifics. This compact super team is led by Mr. Terrific himself while joined by Metamorpho, Plastic Man and newcomer Linnya Wazzo. I really can’t wait to just dive in and start talking about this, but I’m wasting time and space to fill up enough dialogue so I there’s a big enough paragraph in place before you click on the title to read more. I know, cheap journalistic move, right? Yeah, guilty as charged.

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DC Kicks Off New Line with Some ‘Damage’

In late 2017, DC Comics announced several new comic book series that would begin in early 2018. With a total of eight new titles set, DC is looking to establish some new characters, like Damage, while bringing back some old…Plastic Man, anyone? Innovation and creativity are key in the industry so it’s no surprise the new roster of heroes (are they all heroes?) are making their debut. Keep an eye out in the coming months for The Silencer, Sideways, The Terrifics, The Immortal Men, The Curse of Brimstone, New Challengers and The Unexpected. For now though, DC has satiated our appetite with the first of the eight new series, Damage.

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Gregg’s Fantastic Film Round-Up of 2017

Without question, this is my favorite article to write for Why So Blu. All of us WSB staffers start keeping track of the films we see from the moment January arrives. As the year progresses, we delete, we add and we rearrange our lists until late December arrives when it’s time to finally see what’s behind the curtain. Now for the inundated, these lists are not reflections of the most artistic films of the year. Each one is a reflection of that writer’s personal favorites from that year. Don’t flip out in the comments section if you were to see something like Rambo higher than The Sound of Music. Again, favorites, people. We’re not giving out Oscar nominations here (though some of the films we discuss are very Oscar-worthy). Anyway, it’s time to pull back that curtain.

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Gregg’s Top 10 Blu-rays of 2017

Steelbook was the name of the game this year as the collectible tin Blu-ray cases seemed to have grown in demand greatly in 2017. Best Buy appears to have the majority of the market on these which certainly has me paying them visits more often than in recent years. Still, just as you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you shouldn’t judge a Blu-ray by its clam shell. Fancy packaging aside, there were plenty of enticing choices to get your hands on this past year when it comes to the high def, home-viewing format. So without anymore time spent on my affinity for metal movie cases, let’s crack open that list!

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Gregg’s 2017 Album of the Year

If you felt like there was an overwhelming choice of new releases to listen to in 2017, you would be correct. Blockbuster headliners such as Taylor Swift, Eminem and U2 all released new albums this past year as did some fairly newer stars such as country singer Danielle Bradbery and pop hottie Dua Lipa. On the rap and hip-hop front, Lil Wayne has an album coming out on Christmas Day while Big Sean came out with his latest work last week. Did I listen to every album that came out this year to come to my conclusion? Of course not, that’s not realistic. However, after sifting through twelve months of various radio stations as well as a much more increased use of Pandora than in recent years, we have a winner.

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Best Comic Books of 2017

This past year saw some big events in the comic book world. The Suicide Squad went toe to toe with the Justice League. Image saw the last words written for one of its strongest series in Invincible. The Joker and the Riddler went fisticuffs on a catastrophic level in the pages of Batman (that read comes highly recommended from me by the way). Let us not forget the brilliance of small indie publisher Sabotage Industries and their title Shed. That came awfully close to making this list as its Alien Nation-vibe story brought civil rights to the forefront in a new light. It pitted the skin vs. skinless amidst an apocalyptic overtone with some magnificent writing and great artwork to boot. As with any ‘best of the year’ list, however, there can only be one champ in each category. So, while the aforementioned titles didn’t make this list, rest assured they are all enjoyable reads. Now onto the list…

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Gregg’s 2017 Game of the Year

With sales for PS4, Xbox One and PC titles running strong, the video game industry continues to do financial cartwheels year after year. And as technology progresses with such grand rapidity, fans of gaming demand more out of these titles with each passing year. The Madden football franchise continues to be a dollar bill powerhouse with its gargantuan following. Call of Duty revisited a pivotal point in our history with their WWII release that showed off some impressive cinematic sequences and gameplay footage in their TV spots. Let’s not forget Nintendo’s latest tool of the trade, the Switch, and their growing library of games that’s entered the fray as well.  Nevertheless, only one can be king. Which game gets the crown for 2017?

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Star Wars Battlefront II (PS4 Game Review)

It is finally here! It feels only like yesterday when I was at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando back in April of this year. Sitting in on the Battlefront II discussion panel with thousands of others, I was in awe of the stills and trailer we were given. The original Battlefront (original Xbox, PC, PS2) from 2004 is in my top three video games of all time. Its major flaw was controlling airborne vehicles, which was such a poor experience, but one that could be easily overlooked since the ground-based combat was such a thrill. Then there was Battlefront II. No, not the one just released last week, but the one from some years back which first introduced the opportunity to play as heroes and villains. Like the second Avengers film, it very much lacked the personality and feel of its predecessor. After a changing of the guard at Lucasarts via the Disney purchase, the long-awaited Battlefront follow-up arrived in 2015 for the PS4, Xbox One and PC. It was arguably the best one in the series (speaking of all titles in the series, let’s not forget the Playstation Portable version called Battlefront Renegade which never got much coverage). While individual classes were gone in Battlefront (sniper, heavy gunner, etc.), the fully customizable concept of building your character was a big hit and allowed for a wide array of soldiers on the battlefield. All of that recap brings us to the much anticipated Battlefront II of 2017. How is it, you ask? Let’s take a look

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The Wizard of Lies (Blu-ray Review)

Inmate #61727054. Surely that’s a number that proves irrelevant to most of us. We live in a land where prisoners are more than abundant. However, some are more famous than others and few more so than inmate #61727054, better known as Bernard L. Madoff. Bernie Madoff lived up to his last name and ‘made off’ with a disgustingly enormous sum of $65 billion of other peoples’ money. Director Barry Levinson (Good Morning, Vietnam) brought this tale of financial deceit to HBO earlier this year in the form of the bio pic The Wizard of Lies starring Robert De Niro as Bernie Madoff and Michelle Pfeiffer as his wife, Ruth Madoff. The film now makes its way to Blu-ray and we’ve got all the details on this disc from start to finish.

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Blu-ray Review)

There is no mistaking the quality of programming that comes from HBO. Productions like Westworld, True Detective and Game of Thrones continue to wow audiences with their exceptional writing, acting and direction. As those series are currently some of the mainstays of HBO, it can be easy to overlook the original films that come forth from the cable giant. One such movie is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. There are a great deal of stories in our nation’s history that would never be told if it weren’t for the perseverance and preservation of a few determined folks. Mrs. Lacks’ story is one such case.

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Marvel Debuts Mace Windu / Captain Phasma Comics

Two Star Wars standouts got their own comic books this month and they were none other than Jedi Master Mace Windu and metallic marine Captain Phasma. To begin with, last week the (sort of) vice president of Jedi during the Clone Wars saw his own mini-series debut from Marvel. The five-issue series is written by Matt Owens and pencilled by Denys Cowan and features a story of Mace leading a small party of Jedi to the planet Hissrich to monitor the Separatists.

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The Movies That Got Away – How the Films We Missed Would’ve Changed Our Past Top 10’s

“There are only so many hours in the day.” That’s a statement we have all heard and probably even used ourselves. The same thing applies to movie watching and then some. There are only so many hours in a day and only so many movies we can get to in a year. Every year at least one person that sees my Top 10 list in January asks me, “Oh, so you’ve seen EVERY movie from last year?” No. Of course not.  That’s not realistic, but since I have a keyboard and an opinion, I’ll write about what I did see.  Still, that can leave a multitude of pictures out of a person’s viewing experience.  So what happens to those great films we missed?

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